It’s getting pretty hard to do anything these days that doesn’t involve software. Our governments, businesses, laboratories, personal lives and entertainment would look very different without the software that makes them tick. How can we classify all this software to make sense of it all? The likes of this huge list of software categories on wikipedia are pretty bewildering, and projects such as the Software Ontology (SWO)  are attempting to make sense of swathes of software too. ........ Read more »
Malone, J., Brown, A., Lister, A., Ison, J., Hull, D., Parkinson, H., & Stevens, R. (2014) The Software Ontology (SWO): a resource for reproducibility in biomedical data analysis, curation and digital preservation. Journal of Biomedical Semantics, 5(1), 25. DOI: 10.1186/2041-1480-5-25
Down in deepest, darkest Chorlton-cum-Hardy  the good people of Grow for it Chorlton have been running a series of taster sessions on beekeeping (a.k.a. apiculture). Here’s some notes from one of these sessions held last weekend and some info on where to find out more if you’re interested.... Read more »
Charlotte Stoddart. (2012) The buzz about pesticides: Common pesticides affect bumblebee foraging. Nature. DOI: :10.1038/nature.2012.11626
Daniel Cressey. (2013) Europe debates risk to bees: Proposed pesticide ban gathers scientific support as some experts call for more field studies. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/496408a
Munoz-Torres MC, Reese JT, Childers CP, Bennett AK, Sundaram JP, Childs KL, Anzola JM, Milshina N, & Elsik CG. (2011) Hymenoptera Genome Database: integrated community resources for insect species of the order Hymenoptera. Nucleic acids research, 39(Database issue). PMID: 21071397
If you never got around to buying Peter Suber‘s book “for busy people” about Open Access (OA) publishing , you might be pleased to learn that it’s now available under an Open Access license.... Read more »
Clair, K. (2013) Kevin Michael Clair reviews Open Access, by Peter Suber. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 39(1), 94. DOI: 10.1016/j.acalib.2012.11.017
A quick-and-dirty measure of the scientific coverage of wikipedia is the percentage of these fellows that have a profile on wikipedia at the time of their election to the prestigous Society. Let’s call it the Fellows of the Wiki Society Index (FWSi)...... Read more »
Moy, C., Locke, J., Coppola, B., & McNeil, A. (2010) Improving Science Education and Understanding through Editing Wikipedia. Journal of Chemical Education, 87(11), 1159-1162. DOI: 10.1021/ed100367v
News that Reed Elsevier is in talks to buy Mendeley.com will have many scientists reaching for their “delete account” button. Mendeley has built an impressive user-base of scientists and other academics since they started, but the possibility of an Elsevier takeover has worried some of its users. Elsevier has a strained relationship with some groups in the scientific community , so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
If you’ve built a personal library of sci........ Read more »
Hull, D., Pettifer, S., & Kell, D. (2008) Defrosting the Digital Library: Bibliographic Tools for the Next Generation Web. PLoS Computational Biology, 4(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000204
Attwood, T., Kell, D., McDermott, P., Marsh, J., Pettifer, S., & Thorne, D. (2010) Utopia documents: linking scholarly literature with research data. Bioinformatics, 26(18). DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btq383
What is the difference between primary, secondary and higher education?... Read more »
Martin, F. (2012) Will massive open online courses change how we teach?. Communications of the ACM, 55(8), 26. DOI: 10.1145/2240236.2240246
If you hate Chemistry  it’s probably because your Chemistry teachers weren’t up to scratch. Peter Wothers, The Modern Alchemist, is someone who might rekindle your interest in Chemistry through his delivery of the 2012 Christmas Lectures. Wothers will unpick the chemistry of the world around us, looking at Air, Water and Earth, three of the original Greek ‘elements’ that tantalised alchemists for centuries. He’ll also be exploding and burning things too.... Read more »
Movember is now in its tenth year but like many men, I’ve resisted the urge to grow a Mo because of
an inability to grow a decent moustache
a reluctance to look like a p0rn star / seventies pervert / gay cowboy [delete as appropriate]
a fear of scaring off potential collaborators, customers, undergraduates, postgraduates, friends etc
a long history of fine facial foliage from Errol Flynn to Tom Selleck, Henry Wellcome to Freddie Mercury, Charlie Chaplin to Lemmy from Motörhead. ........ Read more »
Venerable and learned society experiments with wikipedia... Read more »
Wodak Shoshana J., Mietchen Daniel, Collings Andrew M., Russell Robert B., & Bourne Philip E. (2012) Topic Pages: PLoS Computational Biology Meets Wikipedia. PLoS Computational Biology, 8(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002446
The UK’s premier Digital Research community event is being held in Oxford 10-12 September 2012. Come along to showcase and share the latest in digital research practice – and set the agenda for tomorrow at Digital Research 2012. The conference features an exciting 3-day programme with a great set of invited speakers together with showcases of the work and vision of the Digital Research community. Here are some highlights of the programme – please see the website digital-researc........ Read more »
Lazer D., Pentland A., Adamic L., Aral S., Barabasi A.-L., Brewer D., Christakis N., Contractor N., Fowler J., & Gutmann M. (2009) SOCIAL SCIENCE: Computational Social Science. Science, 323(5915), 723. DOI: 10.1126/science.1167742
What happened was, I was looking for a Creatively Commons licensed picture of Pedro Mendes to upload to commons.wikimedia.org. That’s not the footballing Pedro Mendes who played for Rangers, Spurs, Pompey and Porto but the systems biologist Pedro Mendes who plays for Virginia Tech and Manchester. Thankfully, another systems biologist, Michael Hucka kindly pointed to his impressive collection of pictures, taken at various events over the years which include some shots of Pedro. Looking at t........ Read more »
Over at @BBCSport and @BBC2012 there are some Olympian feats of big data wrestling going on behind the scenes for London 2012 . While we all enjoy the Olympics on a range of platforms and devices, a team of twenty engineers is busy making it all happen. It’s great that the BBC, unlike other large organisations, can talk openly about their technology and share hard-won knowledge widely.... Read more »
Loasby Karen. (2006) Changing approaches to metadata at bbc.co.uk: From chaos to control and then letting go again. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 33(1), 26. DOI: 10.1002/bult.2006.1720330109
Butkus Andrius, & Petersen Michael. (2007) Semantic Modelling Using TV-Anytime Genre Metadata. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 234. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-72559-6_24
If Science were an Olympic sport, which events would scientists excel at?... Read more »
Enriquez Juan, & Gullans Steve. (2012) Olympics: Genetically enhanced Olympics are coming. Nature, 487(7407), 297. DOI: 10.1038/487297a
In the world of abused performance metrics, the impact factor is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the (publishing) world.
And it’s been an eventful year in the ring scientific publishing too. A new journal called PeerJ launched with a radical new publish ’til you perish business model . There’s another new journal on the way too in the shape of eLifeSciences - with it’s own significant differences from current publishing models. Then there was the Finch report........ Read more »
Next weekend, a bunch of very distinguished computer scientists will rock up at the magnificent Manchester Town Hall for the Turing Centenary Conference in order to analyse the development of Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Alan Turing’s legacy .... Read more »
Fellows of the Wiki Society? To improve public engagement with Science and Scientists, the Royal Society should employ a wikipedian in residence. Here’s why:... Read more »
Daub, J., Gardner, P., Tate, J., Ramskold, D., Manske, M., Scott, W., Weinberg, Z., Griffiths-Jones, S., & Bateman, A. (2008) The RNA WikiProject: Community annotation of RNA families. RNA, 14(12), 2462-2464. DOI: 10.1261/rna.1200508
Wodak, S., Mietchen, D., Collings, A., Russell, R., & Bourne, P. (2012) Topic Pages: PLoS Computational Biology Meets Wikipedia. PLoS Computational Biology, 8(3). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002446
The Life Scientific is a series of interviews by Jim Al-Khalili of well known scientists. It’s a bit like Desert Island Discs without the music and with more interesting guests. If you missed them on the radio, you can download the lot as a podcast. Here’s a good example of an interview with John Sulston on the Physics vs. Stamp Collecting debate:... Read more »
Goldhammer, P. (1963) Rutherford at Manchester. J. B. Birks, Ed. Heywood, London, 1962; Benjamon, New York, 1963. x 364 pp. Illus. $ 12.50. Science, 142(3594), 943-944. DOI: 10.1126/science.142.3594.943-a
According to the software which runs this site, this is the 200th post here at O’Really? To mark the occasion, here are some stats via WordPress with thoughts and general navel-gazing analysis paralysis  on web analytics. It all started just over six years ago at nodalpoint with help from Greg Tyrelle, the last four years have been WordPressed with help from Matt Mullenwegg. WordPress stats are unfortunately very primitive compared to the likes of Google Analytics and don’t give ........ Read more »
Shema, H., Bar-Ilan, J., & Thelwall, M. (2012) Research Blogs and the Discussion of Scholarly Information. PLoS ONE, 7(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035869
When I first heard about Journal Fire, I thought, Great! someone is going to take all the closed-access scientific journals and make a big bonfire of them! At the top of this bonfire is the burning effigy of a wicker man, representing the very worst of the vanity journals.... Read more »
Former Mancunian James Lovelock runs the kind of a laboratory most scientists can only fantasise about working in as they grind through the humdrum bureaucracy of peer-review and never-ending grant applications. Lovelock is fortunate enough to run a completely independent, self-funded lab located in the beautiful West Country. There’s a fascinating interview with him on The Life Scientific with Jim Al-Khalili where he says lots of interesting things about elocution lessons, nuclear power, cli........ Read more »
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